Travel Trailer Essentials : 25+ Basic Must Have Items

Travel Trailer Essentials : 25+ Basic Must Have Items

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Travel trailers are very popular way of RVing. You get smaller ones that are 10 feet long to those that can be 30 feet long. They serve wide range of people. We have been camping in our travel trailer for years.

We carry a long list of essentials and its almost impossible to go out there without them. You will go nuts if you don’t have these with you. The whole camping experience will be ruined if things aren’t falling in place.

Before you decide and start the travel, you need to ensure that you have all the essentials necessary to safely travel and camp in your RV.

There may be an external compartment to your RV that can only be accessed from the exterior, or you may need to make room inside to store these essentials.

However, don’t leave home without the following travel trailer essentials list, this is all a travel trailer or RV owner needs.

Leveling Blocks

Make no mistakes, if you do not have your travel trailer level on the ground, you will soon be aware of it. Your belongings will roll around, and you may possibly roll out of your bunk when you try to sleep.

This may sound like exaggeration, but your appliances like refrigerator can get affected due to this. Leveling your travel trailer at the campground should be your first step and most important step.

Although your RV may look level to the naked eye, it doesn’t take a great deal of discrepancy in order to be totally off kilter. Using a level when you are setting up will ensure that everything is exactly as it should be.

Power Station

A portable power station is a must have when you are traveling in your RV. It can jump start your dead battery, supply an air pump. It can also serve as a charger for your devices when you’re camped and setting up.

There are countless circumstances where having a portable power station is a lifesaver. It is definitely worth the money to invest in one of these handy pieces of equipment.

Triangle Emergency Reflector

The entire point of owning an RV or fifth wheel trailer is to get out on the open road and travel. It only makes good sense to own the safety equipment necessary to travel.

You never know what situation may call for you to be pulled over on the side of the highway. And in that circumstance, you want to ensure that any oncoming traffic can see you and your vehicle so that you can avoid being in an accident.

Power Adapters

It is absolutely necessary to have adapters with you. A lot of sites will not have the necessary connection to hook up your RV to the power supply. Without the adapter, you will be unable to connect and charge or power your travel trailer while you are camped.

Hitch Locks

By installing this lock, you ensure that someone can’t just pull up and hook into your RV and haul it away. This ensures that no matter where your travel trailer is parked, you don’t have to worry about it being hauled away by any person or company.

RV Water Filter

Even if you don’t plan to drink water from the tap in your RV, you will still want to install a water filter for the intake water line.

This will keep the water that you use to shower and wash dishes from smelling like the well that it is pulling from. It will also ensure that the majority of the silt and debris is filtered out of your water prior to bathing or washing dishes with it.

Its always best to put in a small filter between the campground water connection and the RV water inlet. This ensures no bad water will be introduced inside any of your RVs plumbing system.

Most of the times many of us assume that the water will be good. But, we have seen filters turning brown within like few days. So, don’t take it for granted, the filter wouldn’t cost much.

Surge Protector

Along the very same lines as the power adapters, you never know what sort of electrical service and connections the sites will be supplying.

Without a surge protector, you risk blowing fuses, and possibly damaging electrical systems or appliances in your RV by connecting to questionable power sources.

Placing a surge protector is one of most important step in your setup at the campground. You definitely don’t want a damaged TV or a refrigerator due to voltage spike. Don’t you?

Solar Motion Sensor Lights

By installing these on the exterior of your RV, you have lights that automatically turn on as you walk by them. They also serve as an early notification system when someone is approaching your RV.


Although your RV may be fitted with GPS, there is a reason to specifically own and use a Garmin system.

If you input your vehicle dimensions, Garmin will actually reroute you through your vehicle will be able to safely travel, instead of routing you through bridges and overpasses that you may exceed the weight or height limitations.

This will save you countless miles in backtracking and finding alternate routes manually once you reach a point that your vehicle is too large to cross.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

An automated tire pressure monitoring system is invaluable in terms of keeping you from damaging your vehicle and wheels due to low air pressure or foreign objects in your tires.

They will alert you anytime there is a tire that is under inflated or flat, and this can save you time and money by rectifying tire problems before they damage your vehicle.

Waste Tank Wand

Attached to your hose and is used to blow out the waste tank. This ensures that you don’t end up with solidified waste inside of the tank.

Once waste solidifies, you’ll find that the odor is impossible to get rid of, and your sensor will no longer be operational, as the waste will have prevented the float from accurately gauging waste levels.

By blowing out the waste tank with the wand attachment, you can keep the waste from forming solid build up inside the tank and keep all of the tank freely draining when you attach the waste drainage hose.


Keep either a tube of silicone or liquid nails on hand to seal up minor air and water leaks in your RV.

Sewer Hose and Hose Rack

Not to ever be confused with the fresh water intake hose, this hose and rack is black to indicate that it is for the removal of sewer waste from your RV.

This should be at least 50 foot, due to the fact that many different sites have different setups as far as where the hookups for your RV will be located.

Hose Support

A support for holding tank hose is necessary. In some states there are rules around this as well. We always carry hose support with our travel trailer. This helps a lot in making sure the hose is moving the output smoothly. It makes sure the hose has one end at a slope or height.

We are most careful in dealing with grey and black tank hose. Accidents or spill over can happen any time and its always better to stay up to date and follow all the procedure step by step.

Other things that we normally do is wear glove while working with that hose. Using sanitizer after we are done and cleaning the hands are also part of our routine.

Step Pads

Step pads keep you from slipping and falling on slippery RV stairs. They also prevent all of the dirt and mud from being tracked into your trailer from outside.

Wheel Chocks

This is absolutely self explanatory. If you do not chock the wheels on your RV, chances are, you’re going to begin to roll, which could damage your leveling gear, and also any lines that you have attached, such as power and sewer. Just use a chock so that you don’t have to worry about the vehicle moving and causing any damage, or worse, hurting someone.

Cordless Drill

In addition to making small repairs in your RV, a cordless drill is a great way to move your stabilizing jacks up and down without wearing your arm out.

Fresh Water Hose

This is the hose to pump fresh water into your RV. You should have at least a 50 foot hose, as you never know how far the connections will be at the different sites that you camp. This will be the hose that you attach the water filter to.

Water Pressure Regulator

Due to the fact that RV’s and travel trailers aren’t known for having the most stable interior plumbing assemblies, you want to ensure that the water pressure isn’t going to fluctuate and damage some of the flex lines that are run in your RV.

By using a water pressure regulator, you can stop the surges and fluctuations that damage PVC and flex lines in travel trailer plumbing assemblies.

Read : Tips to improve RV water pressure

Wheel Covers

In order to prevent dry rot from occurring in your tires, cover your wheels when you are parked. The sun will do serious damage to your tires if you don’t protect them.

Toilet Treatment Tabs

These tablets go directly into your waste tank, and they help to break down the raw sewage being stored in your waste tank.

This helps to keep the waste from solidifying, and also from stinking up your entire RV due to human waste. They are similar to the tabs that are used in septic systems.

Propane Tank Gauge

You don’t want to run out of propane in the middle of heating your shower, or cooking. Without a tank gauge, you’ll constantly be guessing as to the level of propane that is left in your tanks.

Take the guesswork out of the scenario and invest in a propane tank gauge.


Don’t skimp on this. You want a good, high quality flashlight for a variety of reasons. Safety on the roadside, dark campsites, safety beaconing, the list is endless.

Boondocking in travel trailer essentials

If you are one of those boondocking Rver then be sure to check out the below list. Dry camping or camping without hook up needs special preparation. You wont have power hookup or electrical hook up and even no sewer hook up.

With this limitations you are supposed to adjust and plan accordingly. Below list of essentials will help you a lot.

Lithium battery

With no shore power your battery will be supplying power to your appliances. A lithium battery can last around 2000 cycles and thus you can charge it often. Having a good battery that holds charge will make sure you wont be left in dark at night.

You can get multiple batteries depending on your power needs. DC batteries can also be used to power AC appliances via an inverter.


Having a generator is a must when you are left without shore power. A generator can power almost everything inside the RV. Its a substitute to the shore power. Remember, your DC battery cannot power everything.

Read : Top 10 Generators for RV

It can only act as a power source for smaller appliances. Although, generator can provide you power they also come with cons, like they makes noise, their weight can be a problem. Generators will also need fuel to run. This brings us to our next essential, solar.

Solar panel system

Getting a solar panel can be your best decision. A lot of people aren’t sure how the solar works or they are not sure whether its good add-on due to the cost.

Solar panels can be installed on the roof and they can charge your DC batteries. Its only initial cost that you have to pay and later on its going to be free with minor maintenance.

Read : Solar or generator for RV

Remember, the solar panels will charge the batteries which can then be used to power the appliances. So, generator is still needed to power the bigger appliances.


Another source to run your appliances is propane. Your furnace or refrigerator can run on propane.

These appliances are best run using propane and therefore having a propane source is almost necessary.

Refrigerators run on both electricity and propane. So, when you aren’t connected to campground hookup propane is the best option.

Outdoor grill

We use an outdoor grill a lot while boondocking. Grilling is an amazing way to cook your meal. It also makes sure we are outside of the RV. So, if you love outside cooking then go for a grill.


Get a hammock and enjoy the outdoor while dry camping in a peaceful site. If you have kids then they are going to love it. Some of these essentials including the hammock will need setup but its going to be fun. Also, a hammock will not take any space to store.

Folding chairs and table

Get chairs and tables that are easy for folding. We do carry multiple chairs and table and do the setup outside the RV.

Commonly Used Tools To Have On Hand

Although you may never need some of the tools on this list, you will be in a great deal of trouble on the road if you need one of these tools and don’t have it. You can handle essentially any RV roadside emergency with this tool supplies in your RV.

  • Ratchet and socket set
  • Standard and Metric wrenches, varying sizes
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Dykes
  • Vice Grips
  • Wire Cutters
  • Hammer
  • Utility Knife
  • Cordless Drill, Charger
  • Drill bits and bit drivers
  • Battery Filler (for refilling water) : For shooting distilled water into the small reservoir
  • Gloves : For working on the battery, to prevent acid burns
  • Safety Glasses : For working on the battery, to prevent acid burns
  • Sandpaper :For cleaning off battery posts
  • Funnels : For miscellaneous fluid replacement
  • Tire Gauge (if you don’t have a tire monitoring system installed)
  • Voltmeter : For testing site hookups and troubleshooting wiring issues inside RV
  • Spare fuses : For replacements on both the RV and appliances
  • Roof Repair patch : Leak repair
  • Electrical tape :For any wiring repairs that must be performed
  • Miscellaneous electrical/wire fittings : Common fittings for miscellaneous repairs
  • Wire Stripper : For making miscellaneous wiring repairs
  • Zip Ties : For emergency tie downs
  • Rope
  • Plumbers Tape : For emergency plumbing repairs

Commonly used plumbing fittings : For emergency plumbing repairs

  • Nuts
  • Bolts
  • Screws
  • Washers
  • Spray Lube (WD40)
  • Shop Towels
  • Duct Tape

Are all Tools Necessary?

Although you may not ever need the majority of the parts and tools on this list, you don’t want to be without this list of essentials just in case a problem should arise while you are out on the road.

You can perform most electrical and plumbing repairs, as well as any miscellaneous repair, on your travel trailer with this list of parts and tools.

Because of the questionable hook ups that you’ll sometimes find at campsites, it is a sensible move to carry the equipment to replace fuses, test electrical connections, and do small wiring repairs.

You never know when you’ll plug into a site’s power connection and blow a fuse, or cause a wiring problem with a power surge.

You should carry a fuse kit that will have spare fuses in essentially all of the common sizes. Any specialty appliance or RV fuses for your particular set up should also be carried with you in case of emergency.

Plumbing Repairs

RV plumbing is known to be easily ruptured or broken. Therefore, it is a safe bet that at one time or another, you will need to perform a plumbing repair while you are on the road.

You should carry a small amount of PVC piping, and some of the common fittings that are used in plumbing repairs.

The quickest way to ruin a good camping trip is to flood the entire RV due to broken plumbing. Many sites have questionable water pressure, and you can end up with unexpected pressure surges that can cause plumbing that is weak to rupture or leak.

You need to have the capability to do quick plumbing repairs or temporary fixes if plumbing problems should arise.

Carrying the essentials : Storage

A lot of RV’s and travel trailers have exterior storage compartments for tools and spare tires.

If you do have exterior storage on your RV, this entire tool list should fit quite easily inside of the storage compartment. However, if you don’t have exterior storage on your RV, you need to find room inside for the parts and tools on this list.

It is incredibly important to be prepared for any emergency that may arise while you’re on the road or at your campsite.

In Conclusion

Many of the items on the list may not always be needed. Many of you can still camp better without solar or any other thing on the list. The idea here is to list out all things that we have used or have missed. A RV awning can get torn any time during the camping and having necessary tool at that time only be good. You may have a tire that’s flat. Having set of tools and these accessories will be of help at the right time.

G. Yoganand

A RV enthusiast who spends countless hours researching and learning various things related to RV camping. He believes in spending time doing Outdoor activities.
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